Russian Forces claim advance in Vugledar

MOSCOW: A Moscow proxy official said Monday that Russian forces were advancing near Vugledar, a town in the eastern Donetsk region, which is the epicentre of fighting in Ukraine, but Kyiv denied the claim.
“Our units continue advancing in the direction of Vugledar,” said Denis Pushilin, the Kremlin-appointed leader of the Donetsk region.
“Now we can say that units have established positions in the eastern part of Vugledar, and work is also being carried out in the vicinity,” he said on Russian television.
A Ukrainian military spokesman in charge of the area said that Russia’s attacks were unsuccessful. “The enemy was hit by firearms and artillery. The enemy had no success and retreated,” Yevgen Yerin told media. “We did not lose our positions,” he added.
According to Pushilin, Ukraine’s forces have “had time to gain a foothold” in Vugledar which has a “large number of industrial facilities and high-rise buildings” that facilitate defensive operations. Russia’s defence ministry said its troops had taken up “more advantageous positions” in Vugledar and inflicted losses on Ukrainian forces.
Kyiv said last week that “fierce” fighting was underway for control of Vugledar, a town that had a population of around 15,000 before the war. It is about 150 kilometres (93 miles) south of Bakhmut, where months of fighting have led to heavy losses on both sides.
Pushilin said “fierce battles” were ongoing near Bakhmut but that it was “too early” to talk about the encirclement of the city. “Fighting is ongoing, we are holding the defence and inflicting losses,” Sergiy Cherevaty, another Ukrainian military spokesman, told media. –Agencies